Lowell Observatory and Flagstaff, Arizona are great places to spend a few years completing your doctoral thesis.
Lowell is a unique research observatory with a rich history of astronomical innovation and discovery dating back over 100 years. Set in the mountains of northern Arizona, Lowell supports about two dozen scientists who work on a range of topics, including the origins of comets, the chemistry of icy solar system bodies, the search for near-Earth asteroids, a deep survey of the Kuiper belt, a search for extrasolar planets, the characterization of exoplanets and their host stars, star formation processes in galaxies, the formation and evolution of massive stars, young binaries in the solar neighborhood, stellar rotation, and Sun-like stars.
Located next to the attractive town of Flagstaff, the area around Lowell provides numerous outdoor and cultural activities year round. Collaborations and interactions between astronomers and planetary scientists at Northern Arizona University, the US Geological Survey, and the US Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station, enrich the local scientific environment. Researchers at Lowell Observatory have ample access to 0.8-meter, 1.1-meter, and 1.8-meter facility telescopes, to the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer, and soon to the new 4-meter Discovery Channel Telescope. Wide field visible light and infrared cameras and low to medium resolution spectrometers provide an array of instrumentation possibilities.
You'll be based at Lowell's historic campus, one mile west of downtown Flagstaff at an elevation of 7,200'.
Predoctoral students have full access to the observing facilities at our dark-sky sites at Anderson Mesa and Happy Jack, southeast of Flagstaff.
Research programs at Lowell introduce students to cutting-edge collaborations with international teams.
The Flagstaff area provides a vast array of opportunities for outdoor activities, from mountain biking to skiing to horsebackriding.